Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Surprise, Surprise

On Sunday September 20th we attended a surprise birthday party for my neighbor Darlene hosted by her three children Christopher, Michael and Becky.  Over the years, Darlene has pulled off some major surprise birthday parties for her husband and children so this was an especially nice opportunity for them to reciprocate and surprise Darlene.

 It worked, she was surprised!

 Darlene with husband Lenny

 Everything was beautifully arranged in the backyard

 Becky, Lucy and Valerie

 The hosts
 Tony with Darlene's daughter Becky

 Trisha with Darlene's son Michael

Mary with Darlene's son Christopher

 Thanks to Lucy and Antonio for opening their home for the party
 Mary and her mom

 Barb and Mike (next neighbors of Darlene and Lenny for over 30 years)

 Juanita (Darlene's mother) with grand-daughter Becky

 Three generations

 Time to relax

It was a great party!  Happy Happy Birthday Darlene!


Monday, October 5, 2015

Italian Surprise Belated Birthday Date Night

The belated birthday surprise date night for Mike on Thursday Oct. 1 went very well.  We arrived a little after 6 pm to Vino e Cucina (local wonderful Italian restaurant at 4501 E. Carson Street, Ste. 105, Long Beach, CA 90808 ). Twice monthly the restaurant has a dine and learn italian night. For $30.00 you and whomever else signs up are given a special family style dinner and basic conversational lessons in italian for travelers. The teacher is a wonderful, enthusiastic young guy from Sicily, who makes learning travel Italian so much fun.  His name is Andrea Gianonne. 

  It's a great 2 hours filled with wonderful food, wine and a fun learning experience (no language experience needed).
   Making it even more of a surprise for Mike was that my italian language classmates were there saving us a space at the table to join them.

At the end of the evening those who want to practice what was taught throughout the evening are given an opportunity to utilize the phrases learned.

 I highly recommend Vino e Cucina (a family from Rome owns this small, charming restaurant). If you want an informal, no pressure italian language lesson try this. Andrea Giannone is delightful, enthusiastic and absolutely makes learning in this atmosphere so much fun!  Reservations needed a week prior. A great night out. I highly recommend this little escape to Italy.  Try it!
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